We wanted to start this 2021 with something special.
So we decided to start it with someone extraordinary.
We always say this, and it is still what we aspire to when we meet new people and when we meet ideas and creative minds: we always try to create magic, which is equivalent to a connection.
It doesn’t matter who we’re talking about, who we’re talking to, and why, our goal is always the same: collaboration and creating something that goes beyond our pure idea, because that’s the only way you can create something, hopefully, unique.
We dedicated our January Cover to actor Giuseppe De Domenico, who became well-known for his role in the TV series “ZeroZeroZero” of which we are big fans from the first to the last episode.
We met him in Rome, and it wasn’t difficult to understand that we were going to create with him something unique. He has a thousand ideas, a thousand projects, a desire to do more and more, but at the same time to wait for the right projects (that we, of course, can’t wait to see).
We talked with him about what it means to feel uncomfortable, about the tremendous experience of “ZeroZeroZero,” and what it means to look for art inside oneself. Without forgetting to talk about his great passion for interior design and the latest lie he told.
So let us introduce you to Giuseppe, our January Cover, and much, much more.
What’s your first cinema memory?
“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” I was in elementary school, and I still perfectly remember the feeling of anticipation, confusion, and frenzied happiness. I was one of those who collected themed stickers. Epic. Unforgettable.
Is there something, in particular, you look for in a script, something that makes you think, “Yes, I want to do this”?
Something in particular…? I look for a story that feels to me as close as possible to the doubts and joys that I need to investigate in that very moment of my life. It’s like when you look for the right book in a bookstore before leaving for a trip. You don’t really know which one you’re going to choose, but it’s your intuition that guides you and tells you, “this one’s right, this one’s not.” The real challenge is to fully accommodate that feeling without being distracted by the temptation to choose what’s conventionally considered “right,” you know what I mean… That’s it, then. I don’t look for the right thing, I look for the truth.
“I don’t look for the right thing, I look for the truth.”
How much of Giuseppe is there in your characters?
How much of Picasso is there in “Guernica?” There’s everything, and there’s nothing. You’ve “troubled” me with this question…
“ZeroZeroZero,” how would you describe the experience in one word?
(Note: “ZeroZeroZero” is, as of today, the most important and the most difficult challenge of my career. I gave it the best and the worst part of me, from beginning to end. If I think back to all the efforts, sacrifices, sleepless nights, and fears that were overwhelming me… my answer could not be other than this: I won.)
“ZeroZeroZero: I gave it the best and the worst part of me, from beginning to end.“
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind if you think back to the set of “ZeroZeroZero?”
I remember the first week of shooting in New Orleans. I remember the American crew mixed with the unmistakable Roman comments. I remember the fenced off neighborhood. The people trying to peek at us, while I was on the focus of the main camera. I remember the Americano and scrambled eggs of the usual café next to the hotel.
How did you build your character, Stefano?
First thing, I was curious about wanting to tell how the “bad” is an expression of the denial of the “good.” That was the heart and soul of it all. Practically speaking, instead, there were deep sessions of analysis of the script and lots of junk food. Reading a script, you get to understand “why” and “how” a character is what it is. I decided to gain weight so that I could feel closer to the stereotypical man from Calabria, a 34-year-old man with a wife and a son, that’s why I mentioned junk food.
“I was curious about wanting to tell how the ‘bad’ is an expression of the denial of the ‘good’.”
How do you face the interpretation challenges on set?
I breathe, I stretch my body, and I listen to music. These are my weapons. Then, I’m quite obsessive when I’m working. I keep everything under control and I tend to go for prevention rather than cure.
Do you like to create some space for improvisation?
Yes, I like that.
What’s the last movie you saw and that has “remained” with you ever since?
“Memories of Murder” by Bong Joon-ho. Despite the linguistic barrier, it really got me, straight to my heart, with no shortcuts. Thanks to this movie, I have an answer to the question, “who’s your favorite actor?”.
You’re launching a new project: an Artistic Research Lab for actors-performers. Can you tell us about it?
Isle of Stromboli. Actresses, actors, and performers together with entertainment industry experts can enroll to embark on a three-week artistic research journey. It’s an important and delicate project I’m creating with my friend, colleague, and co-worker Matteo Franco. Rediscovering oneself as a human being, as an artist, as an actor. It will be an event. As for everything else…stay tuned!
What does “looking for art” inside of yourself mean to you?
It means fighting against fear, shyness, and judgment. Artists are those who exalt this battle through sharing. And through sharing, they raise the individual to universal.
When do you feel the freest to express yourself?
In the interviews with The Italian Rêve.
“…It means fighting against fear, shyness, and judgment.”
What’s the most significant cinematographic encounter you’ve had so far?
Thanks to my television debut on Rai1 with the docu-series on Paolo Borsellino, I had the incredible chance to meet on set the person I was playing: Manfredi Borsellino. I’m telling you, it’ll be hard to forget an encounter like that.
We know you have a big passion for interior design. If you could launch your own brand tomorrow, what would its style be like? And which objects would you develop first?
It’s crazy that you’re asking me this question! I’m actually launching a brand, and it absolutely needs to remain top secret. I’m too jealous of the idea and its details to be able to share them even before they’re finalized. Sorry guys!
What’s your home décor item that represents you the most?
A wooden sculpture made by an artist from Sicily. It’s a unique piece that tells the story of Diana, daughter of the King of Cefalù. It’s made of organic material, hand-crafted and it’s medium of a timeless message.
Since we’re talking about interior design, what are the objects that make you “feel at home?”
A creamy white, clean, and well-folded towel. A half-full Espresso maker. A Persian rug. A leather pocket emptier. An icon of the Holy Family.
Speaking of design, what’s your favorite cinematographic set?
I have to be honest. I’ve actually answered all the other questions and come back here last to try and give an interesting answer to this one. Truth is, I don’t have one. There are majestic movies where the set design is amazing, like “Avatar,” the “Batman” trilogy, “Parasite,” but I don’t have a ranking list nor a winner.
What’s the latest lie you told?
I posed as unemployed with my landlords.
What’s the latest thing you discovered about yourself?
Pecs. It sounds like a joke, but it’s not. I’ve worked hard on my body over the past months and, let me tell you, it’s a real discovery.
What’s the latest crazy thing you’ve done?
You’re scared of…
What’s the first DVD you bought?
“The Phantom of the Opera,” the blue-ray version of the show released on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical.
The book on your nightstand.
I currently have two: “12 Power Principles for Success” by Bob Proctor and “The Doors of Perception” by Aldous Huxley.
What does “feeling comfortable in your own skin” mean to you? And how does this evolve when you have to play a character? Do you think that “uneasiness” is part of the process?
I feel comfortable with myself when I manage to affirm an apparently out-of-place point of view. It allows me to breathe more easily, to feel more relaxed, and to be present to myself. It’s connected with the loss of judgment, but it also conflicts with control issues. As a consequence, when I’m working, it’s my responsibility to point out what feels fight and what feels wrong.
Feeling uncomfortable means to question yourself. To me, it means walking on an impractical, non-obvious path. A real (creative) process originates from the experience and analysis of that feeling of uneasiness, otherwise, it’s a copy.
What’s your must-have on set?
My leather briefcase with a bar of dark chocolate and orange peel inside, earphones, and a massage ball.
“I feel comfortable with myself when I manage to affirm an apparently out-of-place point of view.”
An epic fail on the job.
I was in Morocco, and we had to shoot a close-up of my face. Exterior day. A car is parked in front of the entrance of a building. When the director says “Action,” we walk down the entrance stairs, we cross the street, we get in the car, and we go. All right. The driver is ready. I’m super ready. Lights, camera, action! I walk out of the building, then down the stairs, I cross the street, and the car…leaves without me. I’m shocked for a second, with the camera still on my face, and then I scream, “TAXI!”
Now that I think about it, I should ask them to send me that take.
The movie you know by heart.
“Ask Me If I’m Happy” by Aldo, Giovanni & Giacomo. Every single line. A Masterpiece!!!
What’s the movie character you’d want to be friends with?
Shorty, from “Scary Movie.”
What can you tell us about your future projects?
I’ll tell you that we’ve been waiting for the right script to go back on set and we’ve found it. According to the rules of the game, we can’t say anything about it, but I promise you won’t have to wait too long. I’m working so that I can tell some unspoken parts of me… I can’t wait to share each other’s opinions about… ops!
I told you, guys, you need to be patient.
Photos and Video by Johnny Carrano.
Grooming by Chantal Ciaffardini.
Thanks to Woolcan.
Thanks to Attila&Co.
Jacket: La Martina
Trousers: Boggi Milano
Trousers: Boggi Milano
Shirt: Fred Perry
Trousers: Fred Perry